Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives

Direct Aid Program Sri Lanka and Maldives - 2019/20


The Direct Aid Program

The 2019/20 DAP round is expected to open in late 2019 / early 2020, please continue to monitor this page for updates.

The Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) for Sri Lanka and Maldives is a competitive small grants program available to eligible organisations to undertake development activities on a not-for-profit basis.



Queries in relation to the DAP Program should be addressed to


All project proposals funded under DAP must:

  • Qualify as Official Development Assistance (ODA) (as defined by the OECD).
  • Cost up to AUD 60,000.
  • Have a specified duration of up to two years.
  • Be from a legally registered community group, international or local non-government organisation (NGO), academic body, independent institution or association (projects cannot be submitted by individuals), based in, or with an office in Sri Lanka or Maldives.


Guidance in the application process

  • The Direct Aid Program is governed by guidelines that applications must follow in order to be considered for funding. These include:

  • Applications should clearly detail the expected developmental impact of the project, and how this contributes to any of the specific thematic priorities listed (TBC)
  • Applications should be able to demonstrate how project outcomes will be sustained after the project has ended. For example, by demonstrating a commitment on the part of the local community to implement the activities and sustain them, and the approval of local authorities for the project.
  • Applications should include an itemised budget of realistic and reasonable costs, and contact details for referees and previous donors who can speak positively and knowledgably about the applicant organisation.
  • DAP recipients are expected to make a reasonable contribution of their own to the activity in either cash and/or kind.
  • Appropriate institutional support arrangements must be described, for example, the level of recurrent costs generated and evidence of capacity to sustain these costs in the longer term.
  • Applications should explain how the source of funding will be acknowledged (a small amount of funding may be allocated to help badge programs as Australian Government funded, e.g. stamping donated books or media outreach)
  • Applications should contain measurable performance indicators and monitoring mechanisms.
  • Building or construction related projects should meet Australian standards. Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) must not be used as a building or construction material.
  • If a project involves working with children, the organisation must implement a child protection policy, which complies with DFAT’s standards.


               Further information about the DAP Guidelines is available here

In general, we will NOT fund the following:

  • Conferences in Sri Lanka and Maldives or overseas study tours
  • Academic training in Australia
  • Items of a recurrent nature such as staff salaries, office rentals and utility costs
  • Spare parts, supplies, maintenance and repairs
  • Payment of consultants and advisers, where they constitute a major cost component
  • Micro credit schemes
  • Administration costs or “overheads” that are more than 10% of the total value of the DAP funding  (i.e. staff salaries, office rent, utility bills, office equipment etc.). Only administration costs which clearly relate to the project will be funded.


Accountability, Transparency and Reporting

  • The Australian High Commission requires a high degree of transparency and accountability in relation to all projects that receive DAP grants.  Proposals must demonstrate that the risk of wastage, administration costs and other costs not delivering direct benefit to the target community will be minimised.


An organisation receiving DAP funding will be required to:

  • Sign a contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the grant;
  • Keep full financial records of all expenditure (including receipts);
  • Submit a progress report within six months of receiving funding; and
  • Submit a full financial report on completion of the project, including receipts.


Projects (and organisations) funded in 2018/19

Project Name


Introducing sports for peace, inclusion and reconciliation

Humanity and Inclusion

Supporting the safe and drinking water pipeline connection to the resettled community

People's Service Council

Civil Society Action for women and children's rights: building a case for civil society-government collaboration in Sri Lanka

Centre for Women and Development

Empowering girl children through formation of a girl guide company for differently-abled girl children

Fairmed Foundation

Conversations - Android mobile app for deaf automotive sign language converters affiliate application development software and sign language development project

Sumga Ruhunu Hearing Disability Forum

The workplace social cohesion project: implementing LGBTIQ-inclusivity in organisations and building resilience towards workplace discrimination among the LGBTIQ workforce

Equal Ground

Towards religious harmony

Bridging Lanka

Increasing access to justice in the Maldives

Family Legal Clinic